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Video: Festive family fun for New Year’s Eve

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    >>> welcome back to "today" on this booze-day. many of you will be boozing it up in a few days to ring in the new year. be careful.

    >> if you don't have to leave the kids at grandma's house for having a good time, here are ways to throw a kid-friendly party. carla hall and elizabeth mayhew, editor in chief of "woman's day" magazine.

    >> what a team!

    >> carla , your balls are quite the hit!

    >> i am so excited. i love it when you like my balls.

    >> what do we have on table one?

    >> on table one we have gruyere crisps.

    >> i don't even eat them anymore because it is cheese but i'm going to do it because of you.

    >> elizabeth is doing this great theme on thyme.

    >> the whole point is that to decorate your table, get black-eyed peas. you know they're good for the new year. you fill those up. you can use fresh flowers or -- we use fake flowers, super easy. we then got inspiration from plates from pottery barn and used adhesive numbers. i know you guys like to drink. carla made a drink and also you can fashion -- just take numbers, 2011 .

    >> that's adorable!

    >> we've got rum, a pomegranate liqueur, orange juice , a little bit of lemon and cranberry juice .

    >> oh my god.

    >> smack your mama good.

    >> she said smack your mama good.

    >> leave it.

    >> drop the drink. right there.

    >> here you have lamb balls.

    >> of course you do.

    >> instead of having all of those sauces -- they're really small. you just pop them in your mouth.

    >> these are bigger though than real lamb balls. i've been told by the crew. our crew would know.

    >> doing with a fennel and cucumber sauce , still keeping the feel of the mediterranean. for our drink we have champagne and we have a little bit of orange juice .

    >> i just put a little just some glue on it, some glitter. add bling to your plastic to go with your balls.

    >> blood orange juice for the color.

    >> this table, literally use your christmas decorations to not have to go out and buy tons of stuff. we just stripped it down, used tinsel around the chairs, we went with the silver theme. take branches off your tree, paint them silver.

    >> that's a good idea.

    >> this is now your new year's -- so elegant.

    >> little bells for your balls. that's to ring in the new year.

    >> all right. okay. drop the drink.

    >> we have to go with the washington theme over here.

    >> our final table describe --

    >> this is a kid's table. what we wanted to do is we really wanted kids to celebrate new year's around the globe. so as each time zone change, they would blow out the candle to celebrate that.

    >> that's so smart!

    >> we grabbed toys and things from around the house and put mats down.

    >> all the kids know pizza. we did a focaccia. you can use your world theme to put whatever you want on that pizza and the kids can help. you all know i don't drink but i eat my alcohol. we have chocolate milk with whipped cream.

    >> i love this whole theme. this is such a great and easy way to ring in the new year.

    >> and really inspirational and educational too, hoda.

    >> isn't she on your nerves? er everyone agree right now,

TODAY recipes
updated 12/27/2010 2:45:06 PM ET 2010-12-27T19:45:06

Recipe: Gruyere crisps

  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese

Start with a piece of Gruyere that is 1 inch thick. Cut rind away. Using a peeler or mandolin, slice the Gruyere thinly. Place cheese pieces on parchment-lined sheet pan 1/2 inch apart. Bake in 350° oven until bubbly and slightly brown. Allow cheese to cool and crisp. Remove cheese crisps with offset spatula.

Serving Size

Makes 25 to 30 crisps

Recipe: Quick herb foccacia

  • 1 packet of dry instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons herb salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (and more for drizzling)
  • Dried rosemary and coarse salt for sprinkling

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water, and allow yeast to bloom.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add dry ingredients. Pulse 3 to 4 times to mix ingredients.

With motor running, pour in olive oil, then pulse 5 to 6 times.

Add yeast mixture, and continue to process for 1 minute or until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and lightly knead dough 3 to 4 times or until it’s smooth. Turn into a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a dry towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to double in size, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down and let rest for 5 minutes. Generously oil a 14-inch tart pan and carefully slide the dough into the pan. Spread the dough out to the edges with fingertips. Make dimples in dough with fingertips and top with sundried tomato pesto and balls of ricotta cheese. Drizzle the top with olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt.

Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Before cutting, sprinkle chopped or sliced olives on top.

Serving Size

Makes 16 servings

Recipe: Petite lamb meatballs

  • For meatballs
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup canned chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each whole coriander and fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Garnish: chopped parsley
  • Cucumber-fennel yogurt sauce
  • 1/2 European cucumber, finely diced (not peeled)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely diced
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For meatballs:
Heat medium skillet on medium heat and sweat onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add green chilies, ground coriander and fennel and saute for another 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine ground lamb and the remaining ingredients. Combine lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 3/4-inch meatballs and place them on parchment-lined sheet pans 1/2 inch apart. Bake in 375° preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

For yogurt sauce:
Combine all ingredients, then season to taste. Chill before serving.

Serve warm meatballs sprinkled with fresh parsley and chilled yogurt sauce.

Serving Size

Makes 40 meatballs

Gallery: Top 10 recipes of 2010

From homemade Twinkies to cheesy pasta and more, check out the recipes most popular with TODAYshow.com readers this year.

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